The form is beginning to take shape on the biggest addition to Oak Bay’s rental market in recent memory.
Construction is moving along on The Clive, a 17-unit rental housing development on Oak Bay Avenue.
“There have not been a lot of new rentals constructed, primarily because interest rates, construction costs, land costs, it didn’t work financially,” said Nicole Roberts, owner of the Clive.
“It will work in this location and that’s really because I bought an older building and was able to reimagine it and work through the process to rezone it. On top of that we’ve had very low interest rates for the last while. So it’s just been a sweet spot where we’ve been able to make this happen.”
The new building, being built to LEED standards, replaces an eight-unit rental building and will include five two-bedroom units along with a mix of one-bedroom and one-bedroom plus den.
While the proposal for a 17-unit development initially faced some opposition, Roberts said she is hearing a lot of positive feedback from the neighbours on Clive Drive and the surrounding area.
“A lot of the concern in the community was about setting precedent for denser development, people really worry will this happen in my backyard or on the corner of my street,” said Roberts. “I think in the end it was supported largely by the community as well as council because it really just is that one appropriate place – we have commercial use next door and it’s the existing use that was here before.”
The Clive is expected to begin welcoming tenants in October and Roberts said there is already a waiting list for people interested in moving in.
“I think you’ll see everything from people trying to get into the housing market in Oak Bay to people wanting to stay in the housing market in Oak Bay but not wanting the responsibility of home ownership any more,” she said, adding the development offers a simple and carefree lifestyle.
While each suite will be assigned one of the 17 parking spaces, they will also come with a membership to the car share for someone looking to be vehicle-free.
“You’ve got a bus stop and you’re within walking distance of everything, all the services you need,” said Roberts, adding the building has a walk score of 95. “The walk score would actually be 100 if we were closer to a school, the school is just outside the one-kilometre range.”
She said the construction has gone smoothly so far, with the weather co-operating and Knight Contracting doing a great job with the project.
“We found a little bit more rock when we started than our geotech indicated so blasting was a little bit longer than we thought but otherwise everything is really ticking along,” said Roberts.